Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I’ve reached a point in my life where I just don’t have the energy to live a lie anymore. I’m tired of pretending; of trying so hard to be someone I never really was. For the past 22 years – since I was thirteen - I’ve struggled with severe depression. During that time, I have often danced with the idea of suicide. On more than one occasion, I’ve been an impulsive whim away from attempting it. I don’t usually share this and I’ve never been particularly good at asking for help. Because of that, I’ve never really had any treatment for this problem. For the longest time, I thought if I was smart enough, perhaps I could think myself out of the problem. I realize now that I was wrong.

I’ve always had a devastating, debilitating shyness and social anxiety. I struggle to feel the basic sense of connection that others often take for granted. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, with extremely low levels of both serotonin and testosterone. I’ve never really felt close to people. I’m easily intimidated by others and I become embarrassed far too easily. I don’t remember how to cry. On some level, I’ve always blamed myself for everything wrong in the world. I’ve never felt smart enough, and I’ve always been horrified by my own social awkwardness. These issues tend to pile up on each other until I am crushed and paralyzed by my own brain, sending me further and further down the spiral of depression.

For the majority of my lifetime, I’ve been riddled with trying to figure out where I belong in this world. Although I have yet to come up with an answer, I’m at least beginning to fit together the pieces.

Despite these issues, I actually enjoy being alive and witnessing the beauty that surrounds us every day. I’ve always known how lucky I was to have such terrific parents. And later in life, I somehow found an amazing wife who has helped me through more than she’ll ever know. But being surrounded by a few great people who love you is not always enough when the problem is clawing at you from somewhere deep inside. I’ve gradually come to realize it’s not life that I hated all along…… it was me.

I’ve always believed that the only way to truly understand depression is to go through it. Some of you might understand why I believe this. The rest of you may not… and that’s a good thing.

Depression often makes you feel like you’re alone in this world, and no one else can possibly ever understand you or the things you’ve been through. It can isolate you and make you feel worthless; a waste of oxygen. It can sabotage your relationships, destroy your dreams and aspirations, and condemn you to a life of perpetual heartbreak. It can tug hope away from you and try to convince you that your life will never be what you want it to be. This is how it has affected me for so long.

This isn’t an attempt to go fishing for sympathy, or a way for me to shine a spotlight on myself; I’ve never been a fan of doing either. I just believe the biggest problem with depression is nobody seems to ever want to talk about it, and if we ever do, it’s usually at a point when it’s too late for someone. It bothers me to my core that these discussions rarely take place, especially while depression and suicide continue to affect so many of us in life. I feel like I just can’t be part of that problem anymore. In the end, keeping quiet doesn’t help anybody.

I’ve wracked my brain weighing the pros and cons of sharing this with all of you. I realize I’m going to be judged by some and understood by others. But I also know that so many of you, and so many others in my past that I’ve cared about, have been through similar things. I see it so much in the people around me; more often than many of them would probably care to admit. It’s likely much closer to you than you probably even realize.

As for me, I’ve finally taken steps to begin addressing my problems. I found a doctor and explained my concerns to her… putting aside any fear or vulnerability I might have had. Although I’m not necessarily a fan of medication, I recently began taking one since she genuinely believes it can help me begin the journey to a better place. I’m now taking that every day, and will continue to follow up with her as much as needed in the future. The next step for me is to locate a therapist. I have already been looking, but not having much luck so far. I’m going to keep at it until I find the right one and hopefully begin the road to recovery very soon. I have a long list of issues and I’m excited to finally delve into my psyche to try and piece together some solutions. I can’t wait to see what I learn.

In the meantime, if you know somebody who you suspect might be depressed, just talk to them. Give them a hug, or an honest compliment. Spend time with them. Invite them to do something fun. Make them feel special. You might be surprised how a simple gesture can end up pointing someone in the right direction. And if YOU struggle with depression like I do, just remember, you are never alone. You do NOT have to feel guilty about it and it is NOT your fault. But also remember that YOU are the only one who has the keys to begin healing. Others can help of course, but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide where you go from here. And it’s important to keep in mind that it’s okay to ask for help. Depression may never completely leave you, but with time and dedication, you’ll do all the things you always wanted to do in life. You can even be happy. Give it a try. You deserve it.

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